The annual meeting – the most important meeting of the year – is approaching. Often the annual meeting is one of the only times the community gathers. As president of your community association, what can you do to get the most out of the annual meeting, make it positive for the community and as stress-free as possible?
The following 10 tips will help you run a fun, energizing and meaningful annual meeting with confidence:
- Prepare and use key meeting management tools: a timed agenda, a form of minutes and a script.
- Prepare your meeting script as if you’re talking to a new homeowner – explain everything, especially any unique traditions your association follows.
- Build in enough time on the agenda for the owner’s forum. Let everyone have their say, but be prepared to graciously and firmly move the agenda along.
- Review your conduct of meetings policy well ahead of time so the board can update it if necessary. Have copies available at the registration table.
- Review methods of voting, including how to run an election. Be ready to handle votes on unexpected motions, too.
- Thank staff, board and volunteers – especially outgoing board members – early and often. Consider giving detailed introductions of everyone with a role in the meeting, by reciting their past service to the association, specifically acknowledging and thanking them for their recent accomplishments.
- Encourage as many people as possible to have a role in the meeting. For example, give committee chairs the opportunity to both give a brief report AND recruit new members.
- Welcome new owners. If your meeting is small enough, give them the opportunity to say a few words about themselves.
- Give a brief but substantive president’s report, which covers:
- what the Association accomplished over the past year
- your goals for next year, and
- what is great about your community
- Enjoy yourself!